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posted by hubie on Monday June 10, @06:53AM   Printer-friendly

Are you looking for something more titillating to read than the usual low-brow stuff you find here at soylentnews?

You might just be in luck, as MIT Press has released an impact report about its Direct-To-Open (D2O) program, under which faculty members do not publish with pay-for-play journals and publishers anymore, but release [some of] their good stuff directly to the public.

Next to lots of happy geeks directly downloading juicy titles like Model Systems in Biology, Tor: From the Dark Web to the Future of Privacy and No Heavenly Bodies: A History of Satellite Communications Infrastructure, MIT claims that "D2O has exceeded expectations in its first three years, and we're thrilled to share the impact."

To date, D2O has funded 240 books: 159 in the humanities and social sciences (HSS) and 81 in science, technology, engineering, art/design, and mathematics (STEAM). The data show that, on average, open-access HSS books in the program are used 3.75 times more and receive 21 percent more citations than their paywalled counterparts. Open-access books in STEAM fields are used 2.67 times more and receive 15 percent more citations than their non-open counterparts, on average. Regardless of their field, D2O books are making meaningful contributions to debates both within and beyond the academy.

Books in the program have on average a little over 3,000 downloads, compared to the few hundred they'd normally get if hidden behind a paywall.

The whole program isn't completely free though: it is funded by libraries which agree to pay recurring participation fees. In exchange, these libraries also get access to the previously published MIT Press products, which remain gated.


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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by janrinok on Monday June 10, @10:28AM (7 children)

    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 10, @10:28AM (#1360010) Journal

    I wasn't sure what the quality of the books would be so I took a look - and I've already downloaded 2 as PDFs.

    The list is well worth a look.

    --
    I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by shrewdsheep on Monday June 10, @11:07AM (4 children)

      by shrewdsheep (5215) on Monday June 10, @11:07AM (#1360013)

      I hope you can report back positively when looking at the content. I downloaded the STEAM list and came accross title like "sex dolls at sea", "After eating - metabolizing the arts", "The elephant and the blind". Did they confuse social sciences with the more substantial part of science?

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by janrinok on Monday June 10, @11:16AM (3 children)

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 10, @11:16AM (#1360014) Journal

        I've download 2 books - one about TOR, and the second about satellite communications infrastructure (which is a specific interest of mine). I've started with the TOR book and it seems authoritative and well written, but I have hardly read enough to make a judgement overall.

        I didn't see your 2 examples - but I am only on page 11 of the list. There are certainly some which are not of interest to me personally - the Arts (or social sciences!) aren't exactly my cup of tea.

        About half the books on offer require you to provide an email address but I will not do that until I am sure that it will be worth it. So far I have found a further 3 books that I will download if I am happy with the ones that I have already. The PDFs can be downloaded immediately without having to provide any information.

        --
        I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
        • (Score: 2) by quietus on Monday June 10, @12:41PM (1 child)

          by quietus (6328) on Monday June 10, @12:41PM (#1360020) Journal

          Nothing to do with the sub, but your remark about your interest in satellite comms made me remember that you once made an interesting comment on a low power, long range comms tech. As such, you might be interested in this article [ieee.org], on a long range IoT mesh. Fodder for a sub, but I really don't have enough background knowledge for it, at the moment.

          • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Monday June 10, @01:08PM

            by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 10, @01:08PM (#1360023) Journal

            Thank you for the link. You are correct - I am interested.

            --
            I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
        • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Monday June 10, @09:27PM

          by bzipitidoo (4388) on Monday June 10, @09:27PM (#1360083) Journal

          > provide an email address

          Surely a throwaway email address is still relatively trivial to create, easier than buying a burner phone? Even easier for people who administer an email system. And, don't you already have a few such email addresses?

          Fake or burner telephone numbers don't work very well, fake street addresses and zip codes are unfortunately too likely to be detected as fake and rejected, bugmenot has hundreds of accounts that are no good, and as of February 2024 Google has dropped their Google Groups Usenet service claiming that it's obsolete, been superseded by newer, better tech. But email still works. The main change in email is all the measures that have had to be implemented to kill spam, but it still mostly works.

    • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Monday June 10, @06:02PM (1 child)

      by captain normal (2205) on Monday June 10, @06:02PM (#1360057)

      Well, I looked at the site and attempted to look at and download a couple of books that were of interest to me, but after the abstract hit a paywall.

      --
      Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts"- --Daniel Patrick Moynihan--
      • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Monday June 10, @06:07PM

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 10, @06:07PM (#1360059) Journal

        As I said in my comment up the page:

        "The PDFs can be downloaded immediately without having to provide any information."

        I also said that they want an email for the books but I will wait until I have decided if it is worth it. I have downloaded several PDFs now and they look quite good but I haven't had time to read more than the few pages of any of them.

        --
        I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
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